Category Archives: S

Typical story of a 20-something IT-guy

A saying goes, “Throw a stone in the streets of Bangalore, it will most probably land on a Software Engineer”. As a 20-something, South Bangalorean, who has other 20-something Bangalorean friends, there are many behavioural patterns which I have observed(many of it applicable to your’s truly and some completely fictional).

Fresh from college, we join some IT-major, hoping of earning big bucks, give it our everything the first 2 years and then(THEN!) things start to change.

A rebel needs a nice ride

After toiling for many months, the quarter life crises kicks in. Many people are at crossroads. Some would have sacrificed their teenage years and shunned anything fun in the hopes of becoming a success. Then!

Then, everything seems meaningless and confusing, all of a sudden. The guy who used to come to college drunk goes on to get a better job than you, while you, who kissed hairy asses of lecturers in college, end up in a boring, seemingly dead-end job.

Some who had fun in college, who had a wild time in college, start remising about the good old days. Your old girlfriends are getting married..  Its time for a change, its time for the old rebel to come back!

Buy a fucking-bullet(hell yeah!).

Frontiers never explored become a destination all of a sudden. Every rebel aches to be unique and The Bullet is the perfect cure. Its so illogical, its logical!

Only a madman will buy a Bullet!

“I have bought The Ultimate Machine!”, you convince yourself.

Three years later, it turns out 6 out of your 10 friends have bought their Bullets and suddenly, yours seems heavy, fuel guzzling and, mostly importantly, no longer unique. You have been to 2 far-away places on your bike, last one being Ooty, 13 months ago, where the monsoon fury made sure your ride was not only dangerous, but wet and utterly uncomfortable.

A car seems a better option now. “Even the butt ugly Nano will do”, you think for a brief moment when the rain is pounding on your helmet, making it difficult for you to see even 10 metres ahead.

Get-a-digi-cam

Big bucks, easy EMI options and a sudden craving for the Arts makes most of us fantasise about owning a killer Cam. You have unexplored creative energy bubbling within you and the boring humdrum of office life seems colourless.. and Eureka! You have an idea..

For a weeks and months you log into sites which review cameras and consult the many photographers, you happen to meet almost everywhere you go. Then you settle on your baby.

Its got a long lens, xyz mm, its black and it takes great photos of the clouds hovering above. You take those pictures and post them on Facebook with the tag line, “My first Photos with my brand new xxx Camera!”. You abuse FB the first few months and spam everyone in your friends list. Your friends who used to like most of your photos taken in a rickety old Nokia, start ignoring them.

As with The Bullet, this particular experimentation with quarter life crises peters out.

Al-ca-gal!

Some of us discover(rediscover) something spectacular – Alcohol. The dusky beauty adds meaning to life, purpose to weekends. Weekends become exciting. Pub-hopping starts!

The combination of rising prices combined with rising monthly EMI payments on your costly nothings combined with near stagnant salary, eat into your Pub-Hopping budgets.

Lakshmi Bar near BDA Complex, Banashankari, seems more alluring; and, monetarily makes much more sense. 🙂

You are one-step away from being a counter-kudka(Counter as in bar counter. Kudka a drunk). But, for you its time for fun. Its also time to make up for lost time you have spent not drinking! When drunk you fear the time when a creature comes and taketh awayth the bottle of Kingfisher Premium Beer; you shudder to think of getting married and losing all this freedom.

“Why don’t you come meet my parents? My dad is looking for a rishta for me.”

She was hot in college, ever so pretty… She loved me and I her. Yes, she has gained a few kgs, so what? So have I. Now,I barely make enough to sustain myself and she wants us to get married and have kids! Her biological clock is ticking, mine just started..

What about my beer!

I am still a kid. So what I have a stable job and my dad has built for me a 60-40 house in JP Nagar.. ITS NOT TIME TO GET MARRIED!

Either, its your Girlfriend on your case or, in some cases, your parents. “Yaavaga thamma maduve?(When are you getting married?)”, asks your aunt mischievously(everybody is either an aunt or an uncle) in one of the weddings your parents manage to drag you into. “Yaarannardru hudkondidiya?(Have you found someone?)”, is a double edged sword. Those who have girlfriends can’t answer honestly, those who don’t, feel pathetic that they don’t have one. Strange conundrum..

You make her wait for an year, thinking, “She loves me too much to not wait for me”. One day you are hanging out at your adda and a friend of a friend tells you that your girlfriend is getting married. You stand there for a few seconds.. stunned.

She was not picking up for the past 3 days and you never had thought twice about it. Your tiny world is coming crashing down now. The love of your life has succumbed to her parents wishes and whims.

She has blocked you on FB, changed her number, cuts off all lines of communication. Your common friends inform you that the engagement is next week. You are shattered.

“She told me she loves me!”.

The Bullet, The Digi-Cam, the brand new Car seems pointless. You are 24 and lost.

Lets study!

College was fun. Bunk classes, goto your adda near college, conveniently located to smoke-up, where none of your lecturers can see you. Plan trips and actually manage to go! Its been ages since you have been to any new place now. The last one was Gokarna for the new year, 9 months ago.

You are 26 now, your girlfriend has either left you or you never had one(better to have loved and lost, than not loved at all?). You have been working in the same project for the past 3 years. Nothing excites you anymore. Digi-Cam is safely locked up in the cupboard, turns out you are not that great an artist or just realised “Every other fucker out there thinks he is a photographer!”. Subconsciously, you don’t want a reminder how normal your life is. Nothing is hatke if everyone starts doing it. Why did so many of my friends turn to Photography? Bastards..

Time for something new – Time to do Masters in US! (Hell yeah!)

When it hits you, it really hits you.. The monotony of life is unbearable. You dream of dating white chicks, clubbing in Germany.. basically, getting away from everything you are. You want something new in your life. The current routine just doesn’t work anymore.

Masters is a perfect choice. Not only get a degree out of it, but a chance to settle in the country you studied in, should you choose to later.

Start studying for GRE, learn by-heart the meaning of every single word in the English language. Either Masters or you threaten quitting if your project doesn’t initiates H1B. “Onsite, here I come!”

You arrive to seek your version of Shangri-La. Finally!

6 months later you start missing home-made filter coffee, your friends talking shit after getting piss drunk in the local bar, the beautiful weather of Bangalore… The list starts expanding as long as you stay in Faarin.

Everything has changed!

You come home after 2 years of Faarin. Your anaemic friend is fat; your fat friend is thin. “Did he have a beard before I left Bangalore?… Huh.”

Some of your friends are married. In some extreme cases, have had kids! “How can a guy who behaved like a kid, when I left, have one?”

You get ready and text message everyone to come to adda, just like old times (Ah, the old times).. When you finally get there in an Auto(You had sold your bike, your first bike, just before you went to do your Masters), after cursing how Auto rates have increased, look left to find a spanking new Restaurant standing in the place where your adda used to be.

The one last remaining link to your old life has disappeared forever.

“Ok, I’ve tried to accomplish everything what I wanted. I’ve succeeded in some, failed in some. I am running out of ideas. Lets just say yes to Mom… Lets get married”

You do have fun with your masters. Meet new people, experience new things, see new places. You are at a good place.

Like any other night, you are skyping with Appa and Amma. They suggest marriage. You say no and that ends there. You get up and head for work, they go back to sleep. Next day, the insistence is a little more stronger. This time ‘No’ drags on to some 10 minutes. The day after that..

You finally succumb to parental pressure and say, ‘yes’.

But, you have seen the world. Have met new people and have become pessimistic about Arranged marriage. But, there is no option. You are in America, you can’t find a decent Indian Girl in the US(well, you can, but chances are low) of your same Caste and who meets your long list of parameter of a perfect woman.

Life has taught you some hard lessons. “How can I get engaged to someone whom I’ve met only 2 months ago?”.

“She is nice”, you admit, “but she is no..”, you zone out thinking about your ex. Besides, what if she is putting on a facade and after marriage is seems completely different to what she managed to projected as herself to be?

Haunting questions.

A little bit of you died the day you found out about ‘her’ engagement. After years, you have progressed to a point that you think about ‘her’ only once in a day. “Am I really being fair to the girl with whom I am going to get married to?”, you ponder. “Shouldn’t marriages happen out of love? Sure she is nice, but she is no..”.

“Its been so many years, I’ve not fallen for anyone, I’ve never even fancied anyone. Am I incapable of falling in Love? Has she broken me, perhaps, forever? Does she think of me, like I think of ‘her’?”

You actually get married, to someone who was a complete stranger only 6 months ago. Your life changes forever..

The 20s come to an end.

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Songs that just get you!

What is with tones and sounds, even random noise, when arranged in succession or in a combination resembling a certain pattern, that just gets you[blatantly plagiarised from Webster Dictionary’s definition of Music].

If are you someone like me and never forgets an event, a word, a detail of people who once were dear, and still are; coming across something- a restaurant, a Facebook tag, a link to their blog- anything that reminds you of them is really hard.

You begin to question the adage that Art imitates Life in such events. Crazy images start flashing by; images of a  old you, the more innocent you, the naive you, sharing a space and moment with that person, somewhere, anywhere, in total bliss and harmony. Enter Music. Depending on the turn of events the sound either represents melancholy or nostalgia or .. I don’t know what to call it.

All I know is today, I came across something that reminded me of that certain someone and a song popped into my head. If I were to associate the emotion one feels at such a juncture to a song, this would fit the bill.

I talked about when things work out so well, you begin to quell the doubts you have about the existence of an intelligent maker. This strange and wonderful mix of emotion and music, in perfect sync, makes you wonder if this wasn’t a design from a supreme source. How can two things so perfectly gel together, so well! Think about it.

Whatever it is.. Like most things in my life, I like, as well as, don’t like, this feeling. I want to get it out of my system. As wonderful and utterly human as this emotion might be, not such a big fan of it.

Sometimes, some songs just get you.. They just do..

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Suffered a heartbreak? Read on…

Just the other day, I was talking to a friend and that friend had suffered a heartbreak recently(Of the romantic kind). I was giving him some pointers; which I thought were really worthy of sharing it with everyone in the Universe.. well, at least who have an Internet connection.

I really don’t know if the following methods are universal, but its perfect for Indian men(hopefully).

Here we go:

1) If you have photos, letters, gifts,etc from her, hide it. Do NOT throw them away. She would have given it out of some amount of adoration and its really disrespectful of her memory to throw it away. You would have had some wonderful time with her, cherish it, but do not obsess about it!

Remember, its about moving on, not disowning your relationship or the happy moments you had together. She was part of your history and will always will be. Cherish her memory, wish her well.

Take the material side effects of the relationship and put it in a cupboard, safe and sound.

2) Do NOT try to develop hateful emotions towards anyone(even if they were primarily responsible for your breakup, whoever it maybe); nor, it goes without saying, do anything to hurt her or anyone else. You are a better person than that.

3) Every relationship, not just romantic ones, teaches you something which can’t be put in words. If you are a teenager or a person in your early 20s, it is even more true. Do not forget the lessons of life. You are a better person today than you had been before you met her, you truly are, despite the pain. Do not mistake pain for failure.

Remember, you are the other half in that relationship. You have also contributed to her life and grown in the process.

4) Women have higher EQ. Men don’t. I get a feeling they are better equipped to deal with this. They do not need a tutorial or a post from an idiot blogger, to tell them what to do.

Do not call her. Its not your business anymore how she is dealing with the pain. As harsh it might seem, do not call her asking how she is doing.

Trust me, it makes it worse. If she says she is doing well, you will be angry and think she didn’t mean all those things she said before. If she says she is not doing well, you lose the progress you have made since your last breakup and there is a danger you have to start all over again.

Clearly, there is no way this will go right.

5) Friends. If you have heard some people say, “I know you, dude.. bla bla bla”, they are your good friends. Only the truest of friends think they know you and can predict what you will or will not do. Doesn’t matter if they are wrong.

Start spending more time with your friends. Go have a beer. Go bowling. Go play gully cricket with a tennis ball, with the gloves and pads on. Be that stupid self you were before your relationship.

The point here is to take your mind off the breakup.

Note: Don’t get too wasted, because that will aggravate your emotions and might even become a habit.

6) In the serial Muktha Muktha, that used to come on ETV Kannada, CSP, a lawyer, says,”There are two kinds of people in this world. When faced with tragedy, some pick themselves up and do better; they use that event to motivate themselves and end up doing something positive. The other kind is that they regress emotionally; do things they would not normally do, things that they in a sobering state would not have done or even thought of doing”, quoting some famous psychiatrist, possibly Freud. I forget the context it was said, but it perfectly fit this.

The ultimate aim in life, even if you hadn’t realised it till now, is to better yourself. You go to school, to college, meet new people, go trekking, make friends, have kids to develop yourself. That process must reignited with renewed vigour and greater commitment.

Join a Gym, go swimming [ 🙂 ], join a Guitar class, go to a Karaoke pub and sing your heart out. But, do something that polishes you into being the gem that every man should strive to be.

Never ever be the latter guy from the above quotation.

7) If it were me, the next time I run into her I wan’t to be a totally different person, in a good way, of course. I want to be better looking, more interesting, more striking as an individual.. And, basically more charming and likeable.

I don’t want to change to such an extent I am not recognisable to her at all.. No, thats not the point. The point is to improve in the areas that she and others admire, but do away with attributes in your character that make you look bad. Change is inevitable, but positive change is a must.

You would not want to do it because you want her back, but because I owe it to myself; Not to get her to miss you, but to make her appreciate you for the man you’ve become; to show the progress you’ve made in all walks of life.

Revenge and contempt and hate are all very bad emotions, they ultimately corrupt you. You should strive to be away from all those things.

8) Do not jump into another Relationship!  Well, not so soon at least. Its not fair to the other person, nor yourself. Dating is fine, it helps you get over things faster. But, you know how we Indians are, so emotional and too many Shahrukh Khan movies have taught us to fall in love at the drop of a hat.

Love requires time. Give it.

Also, do not start hating the female species. The action of one girl should not speak for the entire sex.

If she was bad to you, sober yourself with the thought that someone better is waiting for you around the corner. Perspective is the victim in such situations. Remember, men have done far worse things to women. Generalisation is not such a smart idea.

9) Music! I almost forgot(The best point at the last). Its imperative that one is a music lover, more so if you are going through a bad break up. Not all kinds of music are good for these times.

I recommend Classic Rock, House, Techno Trance,etc. No sad Hindi Music, no slow numbers.

If you had my tastes or any taste at all, you have to listen to(If you haven’t any knowledge of them already) Beatles, Pink Floyd, Rolling Stones, Bob Marley, Coldplay, U2, Old Hindi-Pop songs that used to come out in the 90s(Lucky Ali, Sonu Nigam,etc).

Well, thats all I’ve got. Hopefully they are sufficient. But, will update more if I think of them.

Guys, you are not alone. People since centuries and millennia have endured unrequited love, a perfectly Human thing to happen. If you ask me it happens to everyone and must happen to everyone. I think, if it doesn’t happen to you at least once in life, then you are truly missing something; like you have skipped a stage in the grand process of Human Development.

With this, I leave you with a Beatles song.

P.S. I recommend reading the post with the song on. If you have read the post already, try it again with the music on. Many things will start making a lot more sense.

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Saying Goodbye is never pretty

I took a small, but a pretty substantial step forward today. No, I didn’t get a promotion, nor did I achieve a feat that anyone else apart from myself can be proud of. What I did might sound inconsequential. But personally, I am feeling a lot lighter now that I have done it.

You admire people for various reasons: You might appreciate the fact that they excel in something that you are fond of; Or, you might like them for being pretty.

I once liked a quality in a friend. That person could easily unhinge themselves from a thing or a person the moment they realize its not in either of their best interest. I hadn’t quite understood at the time, neither had I appreciated that quality. Now I do.

I am proud- I unfollowed an old friend on Twitter. The last remaining window to that life is now shut.

Unexpected, rather, in this case expected, things happen, but the important thing is to realize the event has occurred and move on. That I have done, which I was incapable of doing few months ago?

I don’t want to forget also, why the hell should I! But, I don’t want to think about it too.

So, goodbye my old friend. It was nice knowing you.

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While My Guitar Gently Weeps

I suddenly decided that I like The Beatles song ‘While my Guitar gently weeps’. The song is so awesome that there are many different versions of it. As they say, imitation is the best form of flattery.

If you were wondering why The Beatles were crazy popular back when our parents were teenagers, then this song pretty much settles it.

Check it out, I found some other interesting versions of this song. This one by Santana[Love the voice of the Girl].

Some dude on the comments section told me about the Eric Clapton version. I HAD to check it out.

Eric Clapton, as usual, didn’t disappoint[Guess who is on the Piano!!].

Another version a YouTuber asked me to check. It was his rendering of the famous song. Its nice, so what the heck, I’ll post it.

Which one of the versions I prefer? It has to be Eric Clapton version. There is something magical about that dude. He gets me. . .

The one song I really admire by Clapton is his ‘Tears in Heaven’.

Clapton’s son, Conor, dies and he is devastated. He gives up playing music for a while. He cant handle the pain, so he vents out his sadness in this beautiful piece of music. He and Will Jennings write this song. The fact that it goes onto become a very famous song is immaterial. What is important here is the song itself, its lyrics, its soul: a father’s cry for his son aching to be with him, hoping they will meet in heaven; wondering if his little boy will recognize him, hold his hand when they do meet in heaven; wondering if there is peace ‘Beyond the door ‘.

Would you know my name
If I saw you in heaven
Will it be the same
If I saw you in heaven
I must be strong, and carry on
Cause I know I don’t belong
Here in heaven

Would you hold my hand
If I saw you in heaven
Would you help me stand
If I saw you in heaven
I’ll find my way, through night and day
Cause I know I just can’t stay
Here in heaven

Time can bring you down
Time can bend your knee
Time can break your heart
Have you begging please
Begging please

Beyond the door
There’s peace I’m sure.
And I know there’ll be no more…
Tears in heaven

Would you know my name
If I saw you in heaven
Will it be the same
If I saw you in heaven
I must be strong, and carry on
Cause I know I don’t belong
Here in heaven

Cause I know I don’t belong
Here in heaven

Sometimes a song is more than a piece of music. Its piece of one’s soul; a string of words expressing an emotion felt deeply, some sacred bond between the artist and the listener. Eric Clapton’s ‘Tears in Heaven’ is one such song for me. . .

Everyone interprets a song in their own way, I’ve done the same.

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I wish her well

I think I was in Lower Kindergarten when I had my first encounter with a beautiful creature. Me and her took part in a fancy dress competition, dont remember much about that. What I do remember is telling ‘Amma’ I will marry her. How stupid was that! (That photograph of her must be somewhere here in my room)

After 11 years of wait I had another encounter…of a similar kind.  This time it was serious.  The thing that I hated most about it, in hindsight, is how utterly immature I was back then, especially when compared to her.  Misery arrived and stayed for 2 long years.

2005 was the time when I was content. I had nothing going for me, but I was content. Maybe feeling content is not such a good thing- She came back. The next 9 months were the happiest of my life and how I wished it was hers too(Perhaps it was, I just dont know. But, how can it be not!). She left again.

Another 2 years of misery. This time I had fallen in love..or whatever. I couldn’t stand being away from her. All her insecurities seemed cute, her laughter was like a drug. I wondered at that time if she missed me the way I missed her. Not a peep from her for 3 whole years. Man, she was strong, or, I was terribly weak.

We bumped into one another after 3 years, Online. Things started heating up again, so I thought. She had learned her lesson. Got a feeling she missed me too.This time something was different. I wanted her more than anything else, but she declined.

Things went on like that for a long while.

One day I hear the dreaded news. All those Texts I saved of her, all her emails I’d read over and over again seemed… I dont know how to describe it.

Had been just back from Chennai. Thank God of the precautions she had taken to help me deal with this. She had warned me. I cannot lie. But, it was useless. I was hooked. She knew it too, I suppose. Always felt there was some degree of reciprocation, but I will never know.

I dont think much of her now. When I do, its really hard. Feel I am a better man today.

Wonder what she really thinks of me. Wonder if she really realizes how much I loved her.

I am exhausted.

I want to be happy again. No more pursuits. No more games. Owe this to myself.

Do not let this piece make an impression. I am much more than this.

This thought has set me free. Feeling happy. I wish her well. It just was not meant to be.

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